Riverside Pool is nearly 100-years-old and needs to be redeveloped, according to a Nelson City Council report. Photo: Supplied.

New pools for Nelson?


Both Nayland and Riverside Pools could be either replaced or redeveloped within the next decade, Nelson City Council has heard.

A report was presented to the sports and recreation committee on Thursday which identified the need to bring Nelson’s ‘aging’ aquatic facilities up to modern operational standards.

The ‘Aquatic Facilities Strategy’ was created with input from various stakeholders and identifies that while both pools are functional, they are aged and offer only limited aquatic facilities.

Nayland Pool is over 40-years-old and Riverside Pool is nearly 100-years-old, with the report stating this is contributing to increased maintenance costs – for example, water and heat loss due to leaking.

While new facilities at both sites are suggested, the first three years recommends further planning and feasibility studies, and the new facilities are not considered until later in the 2021-31 period.

For Nayland Pool this could include an indoor 25m movable floor lane pool, leisure pool, splash pad/toddlers pool and a hydro slide.

At Riverside Pool, options for an eight-lane 25m indoor pool, a gym and a learn-to-swim/warm water pool would be looked at.

Cafes at both sites would also be explored.

The report also suggested the option of putting a temporary covered structure over Nayland Pool, while long-term plans are being put together to increase usage over the winter.

There were several suggestions from councillors, such as more detail to address the potential carbon footprint of any redevelopment, considering of Nelson’s natural water resources and the need to promote learn-to-swim programmes and water safety.

Cr Mel Courtney asked for more urgency.

“I think there’re opportunities there – wasted opportunities – and as far as I’m concerned those assets are not performing, they’re run down, they’re not looking good.”

He also emphasised the need to address Riverside Pool more so than Nayland Pool, stating that it is “not meeting the needs of the users”.

“There is only one lane available for public use, that’s been the case for some considerable time, that’s not good enough. Are we just going to drift on and pretend we don’t even acknowledge that or just going to carry on doing maintenance?”

The report will now be referred for consideration to the draft property and facilities activity management plan 2021-31.